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Palacio Laranjeiras

Palacio Laranjeiras (29)

This monumental mansion from the early 20th century is the official residence of the Governor of the State of Rio de Janeiro. A colossal building for an equally colossal position.

It was built as a private residence for the Guinle family by the architect Armando Carlos da Silva Telles in the place that previously housed the palace of the Portuguese aristocrat Sebastião Pinho.

A few years later, in 1940, the Laranjeiras Palace was bought by the federal government and was converted at different times into the official residence of the presidents of Brazil and accommodation for illustrious personalities and heads of state visiting the country. Some of its most prominent guests have been president Charles de Gaulle of France, United States president Harry Truman and Pope John Paul II.

It is a pity that guided tours are no longer available. These used to take you through the huge golden rooms, richly decorated with period furniture and paintings. 

What you can visit are the huge, almost 25,000 square metre gardens, which once formed the part of the Laranjeiras Palace property known today as the Guinle Park and are now open to the public. 

The famous landscape architect Burle Marx was involved in the design of the gardens, which feature an artificial lake, paths, lawns, fountains, a children's play area and exercise stations.

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